Supply Chain Summit: With green manufacturing imminent, how does one find balance between sustainability and cost?

Ninelu Tu, Taipei; Jack Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: AFP

Finding the balance between sustainability and green costs is a crucial direction for the manufacturing sector's sustained development, according to French energy solutions provider Schneider Electric.

In recent years, the manufacturing sector has been more active in advocating the digital and smart shift due to external factors such as the pandemic. In addition, ensuring sustainability while going through the digital and smart shift is also a point of consideration for manufacturers undergoing transformation.

Industry sources pointed out that digitalization and smartification were already a direction for the sector's future development, and the disruption caused by the pandemic has resulted in businesses paying even more attention to the necessity of digital and smart transformation, leading to increased investment.

Regarding the requirements for the digital and smart transformation process, IPC leader Advantech stated that what manufacturers need the most are solutions with low entry barriers (low-code/no-code) that have complete development tools to support applications while also offering sustainability and expandability. Businesses that can provide such solutions will make the most of this market opportunity.

Advantech also believes that besides speeding up digitalization and restructuring the supply chain, achieving sustained development through implementing ESG has also become one of the main trends when it comes to transformation in the manufacturing sector.

With the world paying attention to zero/reduced emission, pressure from clients means that the importance and influence of green manufacturing are already on par with the investment in digitalization and smartification.

There are many indicators that measure the practice of sustainable manufacturing. However, the economic costs regarding workers, energy and maintenance are the primary points of consideration for businesses looking to invest in sustainability, according to Schneider Electric. Similarly, green purchase and manufacturing take priority when building the green supply chain.

In reality, whether it's digitalization, smartification, sustainability, or green manufacturing, the biggest point of consideration for businesses is still related to costs. Despite that, Schneider Electric pointed out that if a business chooses not to invest in these fields, the subsequent product defect rates, the consumption/loss of raw material, supporting system payment, and more are all hidden costs that may affect profits.